It might not be Germany’s capital, but Munich is certainly Bavaria’s, and that comes with its own revered role. Reveling in its place as the heartland of its own traditions, where Lederhosen and beer halls are still part of every day life, and local wealth shines through. Munich is a serious rival to Berlin, steeped in both notable culture and flashy materialism, and home to an enviable music scene. Munich is famous for its beer and many consider it to be the world’s beer capital.
Oktoberfest (which actually finishes in early October, and runs from mid September) is the time to go if you like a good party. Beer swilling tents, girls in traditional dress pulling pints and fair ground rides galore come to town, and nobody’s sober for an entire fortnight. It’s a 177-year-old tradition with free entry, when half the world seems to descend on the town and its rustic old market stalls, each displaying their regional flags and selling uniquely German products.
Munich’s well worth seeing year round, though. If you can’t make it in late September, the summer sees Bavarians flee the city nearly every weekend to hike amongst the foothills of the Alps, while the same pattern takes over in winter, with skiing the aim. Back in the city, Marianplatz – an intensely popular city center square surrounded by traditional buildings – is home to the old Glockenspiel (ornate clock) and comes to life at night, with traditional stalls at the incredible Christmas Markets and beer in the streets in the sunny summer evenings.
The Deutsches Museums is the world’s largest – and probably the world’s most intriguing – science museum, while the 17th century grandiose of the Nymphenberg Palace is a huge sprawling complex, home to a vast garden and built around an ornate Italian Villa, a destination that can easily fill an entire day in your schedule. The Greek Temples and Chinese teahouses of the ‘Englischer Garden’ are also worthy of some time, as is the BMW factory tour, which includes an impressive museum.
The best thing about Munich, though, is its sense of individualism, and the vibrant atmosphere this engenders. Weekends in the mountains, weekdays in beer halls sipping beer from astoundingly over-sized glasses, and days delving deep into an intriguing local culture, keep visitors busy - and happy, throughout their stay - however long that may be.
Dachau is located at about 10 miles away northwest of Munich. Here, lies the first Nazi Concentration Camp that opened in March 1933. It initially detained all polical prisoners during the re…